Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes comes our way from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California on Saturday, March 15. A nice purse of $350,000 will be on the line for fillies and mares four years old and upward willing to go 1 1/8 miles on Santa Anita's main track.
A field of eight older ladies will line up in the Santa Margarita - race 7 on Santa Anita's Saturday card. Post time is 3:30 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all eight entries for this Grade 1 stakes.
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2014 Santa Margarita Stakes Race Favorite Entries
Iotapa - will make her ninth career start for trainer John Sadler but is coming off her best career result - a gate-to-wire win over Let Faith Arise and Stanwyck in the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes with a career best 99 Beyer figure here February 15. She also won an Allowance Optional Claiming at Santa Anita last February 15 after an eight month layoff and had a Maiden Claiming score way back last June. Iotapa made her stakes debut April 6 and finished a very respectable second behind Beholder by 2 3/4 lengths in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks and won the minor Railbird Stakes as 7-5 favorite over Fiftyshadesofhay May 19. She also had a good second in the Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes to start 2014 January 15 after an OK third in the Grade 2 San Clemente Stakes here way back on July 21. Iotapa has four wins, three seconds and a third place finish in eight career starts - as competitive as they come among older females in California. Joe Talamo rides from post 7 Saturday.
Fiftyshadesofhay - Bob Baffert trained filly has 14 career starts. She had a very nice second behind Beholder in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes March 2 and she won the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel by 5 3/4 lengths last January 26 on this track in her graded stakes debut with an impressive Beyer speed figure of 90. She was third in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks April 6 also behind Beholder and had a nice two race win streak after that - the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico May 17 and in the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks June 29. She has looked OK in four starts since as well. Last time out was a somewhat disappointing fourth in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes here January 19 after a second as even-money favorite in the Grade 2 Bayakoa at Hollywood Park December 7, after a third in the Grade 2 Indiana Oaks and a second behind Princess of Sylmar in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes in August. She has four wins, four seconds and three third place finishes in her career and will be looking to end a four race losing streak Saturday. She starts from the rail Saturday with Martin Garcia aboard.
Santa Margarita Stakes 2014 | Remaining Contenders
Let Faith Arise - Jerry Hollendorfer trained filly has four wins, two seconds and a third place finish in nine career starts but is coming off a very good second in the Grade 2 Santa Maria behind Iotapa here July 15 after another second behind Spellbound in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes here January 19 and a career worst performance - an eighth in her graded stakes debut - the Senator Ken Maddy here November 2. Before that was three wins in four starts - the best being a win in the California Wine Stakes in her stakes debut. She looks for her first graded stakes win Saturday with Corey Nakatani aboard from gate 5.
Stanwyck - John Sherreffs trained filly made her stakes debut and won the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm Handicap at Belmont Park October 26 and followed that with an OK second in the minor Paseana Stakes behind Golden Production January 12 and an OK third last time out in the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes on this track February 15. Before the Turnback the Alarm were two wins, a second and three third place finishes in nine career starts. She enters having placed in her last three starts looking for her second graded stakes score in her last four starts. The legendary Gary Stevens gets the mount from post 6.
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Spellbound - Richard Mandella trained filly has eight career starts - last time out being the highlight. She won the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes at 16-1 odds over Let Faith Arise here January 19 after a sixth in the Grade 2 Bayakoa and a fourth in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks in April 2013. She also won two straight in 2013 - an Allowance February 24 followed a MSW score at Santa Anita. It's boom or bust for this filly - she has won three of her eight starts and finished off the board in her other five starts. Victor Espinoza gets the call from post 2.
Yahilwa - had 13 starts in Britain before her North American debut - a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track January 26. She followed that with a fourth in the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes here February 15. Yahilwa had two wins, a second and four third place finishes at home before shipping and looked just average in her two races on American soil. Tyler Baze will be aboard from the far outside post.
Macha - Jerry Hollendorfer trained filly has three straight seventh place finishes including the 2013 American Oaks at Hollywood Park in July snapped by an Allowance score last time out here February 13. She has 12 career starts with three wins, a second and three third place finishes - one of those thirds coming in the Grade 3 Honeymoon Handicap at Hollywood Park in June. Rafael Bejarano has the mount from gate 3.
Miss Serendipity - will make just her third North American start for trainer Ronald McAnally after 19 starts in Argentina yielded five wins, five seconds and two third place finishes. Her debut here was a troubled fourth as favorite in the minor Paseana Stakes here January 12 which she followed with another fourth in her North American graded stakes debut - the Grade 2 Buena Vista here February 17. Her last start at home was a win in the Grade 1 Estrellas Distaff in June, after a second in the Grade 3 Circulo de Propietarios de Caballerizas in May and a fourth in the Grade 2 Paseana in April. Hopes are that her impressive run at home will translate to the States in her third start on American soil. Brice Blanc will be aboard from post 4.